Chicago, March 24, 2020 — With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading throughout the country, more people working from home, and social distancing guidance in place,  U.S. restaurant customer transactions declined by 8% in the week ending March 15 compared to year ago, reports  The NPD Group. In the prior week ending March 8, the quick service restaurant chain “breakfast wars” helped to drive a 4% increase in total U.S. restaurant customer transactions compared to year ago, according to NPD’s CREST® Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 70 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains. 

QSR chain customer transactions, which represent the bulk of U.S. restaurant transactions, declined by 7% in the week. The already challenged full service segments of casual dining and midscale/family dining realized transaction declines of 22%s and 24% respectively.

“The U.S. restaurant industry situation remains very fluid and the most recent week read of customer transactions reflect performance before mandated on-premise restaurant closures were implemented in multiple states,” says David Portalatin, NPD
food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America
. “Some of the areas I’ll be watching closely in the coming weeks are delivery capacity, the pizza category, and third-party delivery platforms, like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.”



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